The draft Tertiary Education Strategy for 2014 – 2019 has been released for comment and has a strong focus on encouraging applied research.
There are six strategic priorities listed in the strategy. Priority 5 is the one focused on research.
Described as “Strengthening research-based institutions” the wording of priority 5 indicates a heavy focus on industry and economic growth. In some respects this is not surprising as the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment appears to have taken the lead in preparing this document. This section of the draft document begins,
“Building tertiary educations’s contribution to economic growth requires us to have strong, internationally respected and competitive universities and other research based institutions”
It also describes how the Government is
“proposing changes to reduce compliance costs, encourage the development of the research workforce, and further reward commercialisation of research”
There will also be
“increase(d) funding targeted at engineering qualifications”
Other poignant quotes include
“The Government expects TEOs* to work more closely with industry to improve the relevance of research and achieve greater transfer of knowledge, ideas and expertise to industry and wider society”
“tertiary education can contribute to this goal by providing the appropriate skills and resources to make research and development investment more attainable and valuable for New Zealand businesses.”
The full draft strategy with feedback forms for those wanting to comment of this strategy can be found here
*TEO = Tertiary Education Organisations